August 13, 2012

by Richard Crespin

There is a lot of anecdotal information on what makes a value chain sustainable, but very little data. To change that, we partnered with ASQ, the Institute for Supply Management, and Deloitte, on a multi-year research study to identify proven management practices and cost-saving approaches, and the initial findings are out.

The supply chain is where the ROI on sustainability gets real — in the triple digits according to this research. It’s also what separates “real” sustainability from “green washing.” That’s why many businesses and NGOs are looking at how to make the value chain (supply chain, distributors, partner organizations, etc.) more sustainable. While others have conducted research in this area, there are two things that make this research significant:

  • Beyond focusing mainly on an organization’s suppliers, this study encompasses the entire value chain from the moment something comes out of the ground until it is put back into the ground, reused, or recycled — encompassing suppliers, distributors, partners, and internal operations.
  • Instead of looking just at interest in sustainability or at future plans, it looks at which concrete actions most effectively increase supply chain sustainability — helping organizations know where to put their time, energy, and resources to provide the greatest benefit…